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Watership Down Audiobook

Watership Down

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Publisher's Summary

Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, an upland meadow. But here they face their most difficult challenges of all.

A stirring epic of courage and survival against the odds, Watership Down has become a beloved classic for all ages. Both an exciting adventure story and an involving allegory about freedom, ethics, and human nature, it has delighted generations with its unique and charming world, winning many awards and being adapted to film, television, and theater.

©2000 Richard George Adams (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Quite marvelous...A powerful new vision of the great chain of being.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Spellbinding....Marvelous....A taut tale of suspense, hot pursuit, and derring-do.” (Chicago Tribune)

“A classic....A great book.” (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (6046 )
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4.6 (5068 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 10-19-14
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 10-19-14 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "A trophy for the mantlepiece"

    There are some books that are so wonderfully written and perfectly narrated that they are trophies to be cherished. This is one of those trophies. Too many books start well but seem to have no idea how to follow through to a satisfying conclusion. Many contemporary authors could learn from Adams how to create characters that a reader can believe in and commit to. Few human characters that I have read in recent books can compare in depth and dimension to the rabbits of Watership Down. The creation of a culture and language for the rabbits and other creatures rivals Tolkien’s masterpieces. Trying to choose a favorite is impossible – Hazel is of course the hero, but my heart also belongs to Big Wig, Fiver and Pipkin for their courage, to Blueberry, Blackberry and Dandelion for their lightness of spirit, and to Kehar the gull just for being himself. I loved the fables reminiscent of the Brer Rabbit tales that offered deeper insight into the culture, and the life lessons gently taught through the various adventures in creating the new warren. This may not be a cute bunny story for preschoolers, but school agers and older should be able to understand and handle the dangers of animal enemies and rivalries. Certainly television and movies show greater levels of violence than is found here.

    Though I had thoroughly enjoyed the book in print, never did I have such rich voices in my head as those provided by Ralph Cosham’s superb reading. The toughness of Big Wig and General Woundwort, the brave innocence of Fiver and Pipkin, and the off-beat uniqueness of Kehar are perfectly voiced. Those who have not read it in a long time may be delighted to rediscover an old favorite. I give this wonderful classic my highest recommendation.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 03-25-12
    Mel USA 03-25-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

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    "DITTO"
    What made the experience of listening to Watership Down the most enjoyable?

    It was original, creative, imaginative, and written wonderfully. The narration also added to a flawless and enjoyable production.


    What other book might you compare Watership Down to and why?

    Charlotte's Web, Felidae, Lion King, Firebringer trilogy


    Which character ??? as performed by Ralph Cosham ??? was your favorite?

    Each had qualities I thought added to the story; probably Hazel for his leadership qualities and his integrity, Bigwig for his boldness and courage, Blackberry for his cleverness and dedication, Fiver for his tenderness. I understand the reason for Cosham's Norwegian accent with the character Kehaar, but found his rendering a little difficult to understand.


    If you could take any character from Watership Down out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    General Woundwort--with some Bataka bats to work out his anger and abandonment issues; Fiver for obvious reasons.


    Any additional comments?

    A lovely listen. At times I thought it became just little tedious towards the end and suggest it be listened to over a period of time to really appreciate it fully.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kasey Portland, OR, USA 06-25-10
    Kasey Portland, OR, USA 06-25-10
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    "FINALLY"

    I have been waiting for an unabridged audiobook to be made for such a long long time. I have a battered old hard copy much loved and an ancient abridged version that cut out all the adventures of El-ahrairah (so you could hardly call it Watership Down)

    This is without a doubt my favorite book. I could read it over and over again and It just increases in loveliness. I hope this audiobook helps others discover a literary treasure that so many of us already hold so dear.

    If you like this book be sure to look up the animated film which is a bit dated but still does the story full justice.

    21 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretchen SLP Sacramento, California 02-07-16
    Gretchen SLP Sacramento, California 02-07-16 Member Since 2014

    I listen to something educational on my way to work to wake myself up, and listen to a page-turner on my way home to stay alert on the road!

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    "Must-Read for Ages 8 through 89"

    Great golden Frith above us, this is an absolute masterpiece!! To say I love this book more each time I read or listen to it would be an understatement. Allegorically speaking, this is the filet mignon (or the finest vegetarian sushi dinner, if you're not a fan of red meat) of audiobooks. Please experience it if you haven't fallen in love with it already. Ralph Cosham's impeccable narration brings the story alive even more than it did when my son and I used to read it aloud to one another, hour after hour, on long summer evenings almost annually many years ago. I guarantee that your first listen won't be your last. This is one you will return to (and listen to with your loved ones on long car trips, or when gathered around the fire in winter) year after year.

    The Introduction by the author was an unexpected treat I only discovered on this listen. It is fascinating; it is the only book introduction you could ever reasonably call "spellbinding." However, I have the very tiniest bone to pick with the author over one small matter. At the end of the introduction the author says, "I want to emphasize that Watership Down was never intended to be some sort of allegory or parable; it is simply a story about rabbits, made up in the car." At the moment I heard those words, I was already mentally composing my review, which I had decided to title "PLEASE STOP CALLING THIS A STORY ABOUT RABBITS!!" So much for what I know! In all seriousness, however, this is so much more than a story about rabbits; it's about very human personalities, relationships, class struggles, the 1% vs the 99%, war, heroism, resilience, redemption, superstition, tradition, adventure, and courage (especially the courage to cast off all social constructs and start over when needed). It remains one of the top ten audiobooks ever recorded. Thank you, Ralph Cosham; thank you, Audible! This is a treasure beyond measure.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alberto Hernandez Greenville, SC USA 08-21-15
    Alberto Hernandez Greenville, SC USA 08-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A fantastic adventure story"

    I love this story. I have or listened to it a half dozen times over the years. It never fails to be rewarding. In a way, it reminds me of the Hobbit in that in both cases unlikely heroes go off unexpectedly to learn about the great world around them with all it's good and bad.

    Very well read. The narrator did an excellent job.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Team Caffee 08-20-15
    Team Caffee 08-20-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Very Good Book"

    I had a hard time shutting the book off as I wanted to hear what happened next!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boots 08-01-15
    Boots 08-01-15 Member Since 2015

    Listening to books and knitting. Two favorite activities I can do simultaneously!

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    "Finally "Watership Down""

    I've been wanting to read this book since it first came out in 1972. Very happy I finally did. Such a lovely story. Recommend it highly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle On Wheelz 07-31-15
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    "Still great"

    I first listened to this story when I was a kid, with my mom. And even this many years later the story holds up beautifully. It held me in its grasp from word one and I was sad to leave the Downs at its conclusion. I know I'll listen to it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CatBookMom Los Angeles area, CA, USA 04-22-14
    CatBookMom Los Angeles area, CA, USA 04-22-14 Member Since 2015

    Life-long reader, 10 years listening

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    "What took me so long?"

    This has been a favorite book for many years, but I never seemed to get around to listening.

    Ralph Cosham is really outstanding. As an example, when he's reading the part of the dog, Rowsby Woof, he uses a sharp speech pattern that almost sounds like short, sharp barks. And a perfect Scandinavian accent for the seagull, Kehaar. I'm sad that I took so long to finally listen to this old favorite, and I'm sorry that it's over. It will definitely be a favorite re-listen.

    Highly recommended.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prsilla 10-07-13
    Prsilla 10-07-13 Member Since 2016

    Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.

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    "RICH, EXCITING STORY FOR EVERYBODY"

    Don't disdain this book as just for kids or just about rabbits, OK? I only listened once, and once is not really enough. I want to get my own copy of the illustrated print version. The author says this is not allegory, but nonetheless we have politics, warfare, patriotism, government in action, oppression, stories within stories. There is much to think about as we listen and get excited to hear what happens next. The story has many twists and turns, set-backs, gains and not too many really-bad losses because it was originally told by a loving father to his two daughters. The author is thoughtful and educated, as are his courageous wild rabbit characters. I enjoyed the special vocabulary explained at the beginning -- rabbit terms for midday, evening feeding, etc. At the beginnings of most chapters are quotations from a variety of works which I will have to look up.

    The rabbits all have wonderful names, though I had a problem with a large male leader kind of rabit going by Hazel! Hazel's brother, Fiver, is extremely intuitive, so that the rabbits listen to him when he has a bad feeling about something. The rabbits realize that they are all males, so they ask a nearby warren which has too many female rabbits to share with them. The leaders of that oppressive foreign warren say absolutely not! So we have male rabbits with names like Blackberry and Vervain, while the females they eventually take to wife have exotic nearly unpronounceable multi-syllabic names.

    Ralph Cosham handles simple narrative, strange sound effects, difficult names and even songs with expertise. But he outdoes himself as the large friendly bird with a Swedish accent and a rat who sounds like a skittish Italian. Quite wonderful! This is what comes of turning off the television! Do give it a listen!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • Steve
    5/12/16
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    Performance
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    "Timeless classic"

    Have the book at home, thought I would give this a go and was not disappointed. Excellent narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    4/12/16
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    "my favourite children's book still captivates me"

    my favourite children's book still captivates me as an adult, characters you really care about and a great story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr.C.Terry
    2/15/16
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    "Reliving a wonderful tale"

    It was a joy to relive this superb tale of life through a rabbits eyes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    7/9/15
    Overall
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    "Didn't want it to stop"
    If you could sum up Watership Down in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, thoughtful, enjoyable


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hazel, he is a true leader, not big headed, able to admit he gets things wrong and will take advice


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The very last. All is settled.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Emotional as in I wanted the rabbits to live


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • baharnn
    Brunei
    5/13/15
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    "Remarkable story."
    Where does Watership Down rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Watership Down is a hard one to pin down. It is one of those remarkable and epic stories that has so much in there - tales of courage and bravery and politics and action and even mini-stories within the story. With all that, it is simply difficult to rate the story itself as being low.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything. It's just that good.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Although the story itself is epic, the narration is the only thing that brings the audiobook down. Mr. Cosham doesn't do a good performance. I find his narration flat and unemotional, but it doesn't affect how enjoyable the story itself is. I had been reluctant at first to purchase this audiobook because of the narration. However, because I was too distracted by the story, the narration didn't bother me as much.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Any kind of emotional reaction, I think, would be for me to want to read/listen to more. This is definitely one of those stories that you read/listen to during a long drive/journey.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Loved it!"
    What made the experience of listening to Watership Down the most enjoyable?

    Narration by Ralph Cosham was very enjoyable, not too slow and his voice really brought the story alive to me again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Read this as a child, and watched the 'cartoon' version numerous times (I have it on DVD now!) and I loved the story. Rich and varied, the story makes me laugh and cry in equal measures and as I listened I could see the rabbits, and feel what they were going through. I love this book.


    What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I find that books being read to me resonate with me in a totally different way than reading them. I love to read but I use audiobooks when running, walking an on my 45min each way drive to work every day. His narration was spot on and it was wonderful to hear the history of the novel, which I had never heard before too.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughed. Cried. As usual with this book!


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it, you will not be disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda W
    Germany
    5/29/17
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    "A Brilliant Classic"

    My favourite childhood story, which is fantastic to listen to as an adult too! highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ABmonkey
    UK
    5/28/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, definitely. It's a wonderful story and once you get used to the narrator he does the story justice.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    He was moving and seemed to really enjoy the story he was telling


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Courage comes in all shapes and sizes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Norah
    Herefordshire, England
    5/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Still superb!"

    Haven't read my 1976 copy for decades, but having just listened to this wonderful narration, Watership Down remains superb, and in my mind never to be bettered in its genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P. Smith
    4/12/17
    Overall
    "So awesome"

    I love the book itself. I listen to this every night, and have listened to it since I got my Kindle Fire. (Christmas) I highly reccomend this Audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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